Would you pay £235 000 for a detached house the size of a toolshed?

·5-min read
One of the smallest detached houses in the UK has gone on sale for £235,000. (William Lailey/Caters)
One of the smallest detached houses in the UK has gone on sale for £235,000. (William Lailey/Caters)

A tiny detached house which measures just 4m by 4m has gone on the market for £235,000.

The quirky one-bedroom property, which has its own garden, is believed to be one of the smallest detached houses in the UK. 

The unique freehold house is located in the grounds of the historic Grimston Park, North Yorkshire, and measures just four metres squared above ground.

Owners Debra Bowman, 60, and Dave Bowman, 61, who have lived in the unusual home for 20 years, have now opted to sell so they can enjoy retirement following their separation. 

“Moving to this home was one of the best decisions I have ever made and whoever the new owners are, they are certain to love the property," Mrs Bowman explains. 

“It is in a country estate which makes you feel like you are in the middle of nature, but you are only 20 minutes either way to York or Leeds, just five minutes from really good motorway links and only 40 minutes to Leeds Bradford airport."

Read more: The disappearing house: Eco-home that can't be seen on sale for £895,000

The house has its own pretty garden. (William Lailey/Caters)
The house has its own pretty garden. (William Lailey/Caters)

Another advantage of the small-but-perfectly formed property is the fact that it only takes 30 minutes to clean. 

"Who would complain at that!" Mrs Bowman adds. 

The upside down home is a two-floor property, with the ground floor unusually housing the bedroom, and a spiral staircase leading downstairs to the living room, kitchen, bathroom and courtyard.

Having spotted the house in the window of an estate agent when they were hoping to move further out of York to cut down on commuting times, the couple made an appointment for a viewing the same day. 

“When we first saw the house, we fell in love straight away," Mrs Bowman continues. 

Owners, Debra Bowman, 60, and Dave Bowman, 61, are selling the quirky home after living there for over 20 years to enjoy their retirement. (William Lailey/Caters)
Owners, Debra Bowman, 60, and Dave Bowman, 61, are selling the quirky home after living there for over 20 years to enjoy their retirement. (William Lailey/Caters)

The former couple used to lived in a large, semi-detached house in York and wondered how they would find downsizing so drastically, but as soon as they viewed the property they were sold. 

“The atmosphere made it a no-brainer because it was so beautiful, and all our fears were settled really quickly,” Mrs Bowman explains. 

But as her husband explains, there were a few areas which took some getting used to in the transition to living in the unique home.  

"The bedroom is located on the ground floor and features a small spiral stair case which takes you up to the sleeping area," Mr Bowman says. 

“The mattress is placed on a platform as opposed to a bed frame and if you are a tall person like myself, you may knock your head on the ceiling a couple of times like I did."

Read more: You can now buy the cutest little ‘hobbit house’ to live out your Lord of the Rings dreams

Debra Bowman in the bedroom which is in the building above ground. (William Lailey/Caters)
Debra Bowman in the bedroom which is in the building above ground. (William Lailey/Caters)

The Bowmans also admit going down the spiral staircase took a little practice, but it "didn’t take us long to wrap our heads around it."

Though they didn't look into it themselves, the couple say there is also the possibility of securing planning permission to expand the home below ground.

But even without extending, the character property comes with a whole host of covetable features including a sunken terrace to the lower ground floor, a roll-edge bath and re-fitted kitchen.

Another quirky feature in the home is the glass-panelled roof above the living room. 

“It is lovely to sit and relax in the living room with the greenery and blue skies above you," Mrs Bowman explains. 

The living room features a glass ceiling. (William Lailey/Caters)
The living room features a glass ceiling. (William Lailey/Caters)

The couple say friends and family over the years have loved coming to visit the property and have often expressed a desire to live int the cute house themselves.

"I will never forget bringing a friend to visit the house and for 15 minutes straight she was speechless at how nice and unique it was," Mrs Bowman explains. 

Future buyers will also be welcomed into a small community of 15 homes within the Grimston Park estate. 

"We formed a beautiful alliance during the lockdowns and helped each other out with shopping, becoming a real life line for one another," she continues. 

“Whoever moves in next will have a lovely community around them.”

Watch: Mum ditches daily grind to road school children in camper van. 

The grounds of the house are also deeply rooted in the history of Yorkshire and can be traced all the way back to 1086 in the Domesday book.

“The manor houses on the grounds have become continuously more grand over the years," Mrs Bowman explains.

“In 1603 there was a house here that King James VI of Scotland stopped at on his way to become King James I of England.

 'His Queen consort Anne of Denmark also stayed here later in the same year and the Duke of Wellington visited in 1887.”

Read more: Baronial Scottish castle for sale for £650,000

The dreamy bathroom features a roll top bath and is built in an archway dug underground where the driveway is. (William Lailey/Caters)
The dreamy bathroom features a roll top bath and is built in an archway dug underground where the driveway is. (William Lailey/Caters)
The property also features a unique sunken terrace. (William Lailey/Caters)
The property also features a unique sunken terrace. (William Lailey/Caters)

Mr Bowman adds: “We are incredibly proud to live on such historic grounds and have always felt honoured to live here.”

Despite separating, the pair remain firm friends and are now looking to sell the house to fund their retirement, with both looking forward to their next stage of life.

"You do not just move into the house for the aesthetic, you also move in for the lifestyle of a country estate home in a cosy property," Mrs Bowman explains. 

“It’s quirky, individual and it’s been a privilege to live here. We know whoever moves in to the house next will definitely fall in love with it like we did.”

Prospective buyers can find out more about the unique home at www.bartles.co.uk.

Additional reporting Caters.

Watch: Wood artist builds unique hobbit house in his back garden. 

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting